The United Nations Security Council on Tuesday, December 19, adopted a resolution outlining the gradual withdrawal of the United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo (MONUSCO) from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DR Congo).
As part of the resolution, the Security Council extended for one year the mandate MONUSCO and set out a comprehensive disengagement plan that includes three distinct and successive phases and the gradual handover of responsibility to the Congolese government.
The development follows an earlier request by the government of DR Congo for the withdrawal of the MONUSCO mission. The newly extended mandate will expire on December 20, 2024 during when all the peacekeepers are expected to have vacated the country.
An agreement for the withdrawal was signed between the United Nations and the government of DR Congo in November, initiating the process of withdrawing the MONUSCO peacekeeping mission from the country.
Drawdown starts before end of 2023, meaning the next few days since the year has less than two weeks left.
“The drawdown will start by the end of 2023 amid the election cycle,” read a press release issued by the Security Council.
“The force will be withdrawn from South Kivu by the end of April 2024 and the mandate’s implementation will be limited to provinces from May 2024,” it added, noting that the authorized troop ceiling will be 13,500 military personnel, 660 military observers and staff officers, 591 police personnel and 1,410 personnel of formed police units until June 30, 2024.
The numbers will be reduced to 11,500 military personnel, 600 military observers and staff officers, 443 police personnel and 1,270 personnel of formed police units from July 1, 2024 onwards.
After a quarter a century and several billions of dollars spent, the mission leaves behind a mixed legacy of unmet expectations and a security landscape that remains deeply troubled.
Speaking to The New Times earlier, experts said despite being one of the longest and most expensive UN missions, MONUSCO has done little for the Congolese people to get peace.
“There was insecurity before MONUSCO came to DRC and there is still insecurity more than two decades down the road,” said Frederick Golooba-Mutebi, a political scientist and researcher.
For Lonzen Rugira, a researcher, the MONUSCO is a well-resourced peacekeeping mission, and yet it has become “a monumental failure.”
“They had the resources – political, diplomatic, and financial – to get the job done but they couldn’t. They will leave DRC as unstable as they found it. The good thing for them is that they are unaccountable. Otherwise, heads would be rolling,” he said.
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Publish date : 2023-12-21 07:35:35